Closing the Gap applies a holistic approach to healthcare that includes a broad range of services such as nursing, speech language pathology, occupational therapy, social work, and so much more. We believe that overall well being—physical, mental and emotional—are integral to long-term health. Social work is an important aspect of our program because it aims to improve the wellbeing of families, individuals, and communities while working with governments to improve legislation to help protect the population.
What Is a Social Worker?
In short, a social worker helps people. According to the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), “social work means the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and evaluation of individual, interpersonal and societal problems through the use of social work knowledge, skills, interventions and strategies, to assist individuals, dyads, families, groups, organizations and communities to achieve optimum psychosocial and social functioning…”
Before being declared fit for social work, a social worker must complete years of extensive university education and be a member of the OCSWSSW. Because of the broad range of disciplines, a social worker can be found in hospitals, schools, governments, and various types of institutions.
Social Work for Families
Social work has been fundamental in keeping families together and finding safe living arrangements for children and women in cases of abuse or neglect. Social workers improve the lives of many family members in negative situations as well as help repair emotional, physical, and mental abuse through counseling and care. Social workers empower families to achieve financial security, to obtain government or community assistance, and to make plans for the future by facilitating adoptions, providing mediation, and giving counsel.
Social Work for Individuals
Every community is made up of individuals who are in need of care, assistance, and simple guidance. Social workers help individuals by providing various forms of counselling and even therapy for people dealing with addiction, mental health issues, trauma, grief, stress, and problems in their careers. At Closing the Gap, our social workers help people understand and deal with the changes in their health as well as empower them to exercise their own agency.
Social Work for Communities and Governments
On a larger scale, social workers are responsible for implementing, changing, and updating governmental policy that helps to protect the people in the municipality, province, and country. Social workers are employed in many facets of social justice and welfare, especially issues concerning healthcare and hospital care, as well as policies regarding addictions, mental health, women’s health, child rights, etc. In the words of the Ontario Association of Social Workers, “Social workers have the ability to anticipate, address and facilitate practical solutions for (costly and important) societal issues.”
Social workers are the heart and soul of social welfare, equality, justice, and social advancement. Despite all they do to help people live better lives in the context of family and community, they are also dedicated professionals with years of university education and training and they provide unique services for people of all ages, creeds, and incomes. The expertise of social workers in Ontario is essential in helping Closing the Gap provide high-quality healthcare to the communities we serve.